Raphael Vincent a Haitian-born artist and activist based out of Victoria, British Columbia, who celebrates the concept of strength through unity in order to bring a sense of belonging and identity to school-aged students through the creation of collaborative mandalas made from a common household item.
Raphael hopes to create a healing symbol for those involved in the system and bringing students together for the greater good.
In this conversation, we talk about art as a healing force, the unity of humanity, and Raphael shares an easy exercise that can help any creativity skeptic regain a sense of creativity.
You can find out more about Raphael on his website https://www.theunitymandala.com or by following him on Instagram at raphaeldivi
I often get asked how I manage to fit podcast-creation, online content conception, professional development planning, full-time teaching, mothering, and managing our house at the same time in a balanced way, and the truth is I DON’T!
I’ve learned recently that there is no such thing as work-life balance. The concept simply does not exist in real life!
My friend, speaker, edu phenom and best-selling author Jimmy Casas talks about adopting the mindset of life-fit, instead. We cannot balance everything important simultaneously. What we can do, however, is live an integrated, rich, lopsided, beautiful life.
One approach that has really helped me is using Time Blocks (Charlie Gilkey):
He suggests a more essentialist style by mixing and matching four blocks of time to structure the work of your day. I like this approach because instead of trying to spin all of the plates at one time, you can focus in on a few with an incredible amount of depth:
Focus blocks (90–120 mins blocks of creativity, inspiration and high-level focussed work)
Social blocks (90–120 mins blocks of connecting with people)
Admin blocks (30–60 mins blocks of lower-energy blocks of time)
Recovery (variable-length blocks for exercise, meditation and self-care).
Some days, you might focus more on one goal or interest, and that’s just fine.
Don’t make yourself crazy by trying to be all to all, all the time! Seek out wholeness by ping-ponging between your interests and being okay with the occasional messiness of it!
How can you invite a sense of life-fit into your life?
Have you ever dreamed of a doing extraordinary things with your life but haven’t known where to start?
Amy Perkins, an educator and teacher coach turned entrepreneur and influencer, walked away from a 25 year career and an overwhelming sense of imposter syndrome to embrace her true purpose by unlocking the key to courage. In this interview, she shares her specific three-step process for manifesting your dreams a process through which she was able to get one-on-one coaching with Mel Robbins, get a one-on-one facetime for her daughter with a world famous actor, get to know Seth Godin, helped her husband to become the leading sales person in his division, win international trips across the world, and change lives.
Amy shares Mel Robbin’s 5 second rule that helped her to reclaim her life. She discusses tuning into the whispers that lead you closer to your purpose, how to create family affirmations, how to walk the talk when it comes to believing in yourself. She also explores some of the pitfalls of education and how to overcome the failures of ineffective leaders by speaking truth to power. You will come away inspired, with the belief that you too can live an extraordinary life! Follow her @amyperkins on Linked in or check her out @keystocourage on Instagram and online at www.keystocourage.com
Many people think that they’re not creative. I’m not the “creative type,” is what I’ve often heard my friends say before we embark on a decidedly creative activity like painting, card-making, party planning, or lesson creating.
But, the truth is, all humans by definition are inherently creative. We’re born that way. We’re hardwired to be creative. It’s what sets us apart from the other animals in the world.
Our ability to make meaning of the world through the art we make is what makes us human.
Recently, I stumbled upon one of the most fun personality quizzes I’ve ever seen. Designed by leaders in the the field of creativity, Adobe has released a quiz that gives you an in-depth perspective on your creativity type.
I couldn’t help but do the quiz. My result…adventurer. Within moments, I had a page-long breakdown of my creativity type, strengths, drawbacks, potential pitfalls, and the best types of creatives to cross-pollinate with. Accurate, the sheet highlighted the fact that I like to have my hand in many pots, enjoy staying busy, thrive in making social connections, and that I love to spend a lot of my time creating.
I quickly sent the quiz to a small handful of friends and family members who also had remarkably accurate readings.
Curious? Why not try it yourself. It’s fun…no risk…and might just teach you that you are, in fact, very creative after all.
It turns out being a magician is pretty similar to being a teacher.
In this episode, Brian Miller and I explore tactical ways to create connection with people in such a way that we can serve the world more fully.
Have you ever struggled to remember someone’s name? Brian outlines some really easy way to do so.
Brian tells some incredible stories, one of which highlights the magical nature of inclusion through the unifying power of magic.
Brian talks about his wildly successful TED talk, Book (Three New People), his business, and his podcast.
Brian Miller is a magician, speaker, and author of personal success book Three New People: Make the Most of Your Daily Interactions and Stop Missing Amazing Opportunities. For 12 years he has shared his magic and his message with thousands of audiences in 11 countries across 4 continents. Based in Connecticut, Brian now performs his interactive blend of jaw dropping magic and laugh-out-loud comedy at 200+ events each year.
As a child, Brian suffered from a debilitating social and speech anxiety. He was bullied and mostly friendless through middle school. Though he loved magic tricks, he couldn’t muster the courage to perform for anyone. Brian got a fresh start in a new school for 9th grade, where he met another student who was also into magic. Through magic and friendship, Brian developed self-confidence for the very first time.
Founding his business at the early age of 16, Brian worked as a professional magician while completing a dual Bachelor’s of Science in mathematics and philosophy, achieving a 4.0 in philosophy and receiving two international awards for presenting original work. He was accepted into a PhD program for Philosophy of Language, but turned it down in order to pursue a career in entertainment.
Brian quickly found a following with college students on the national campus activities circuit, earning two nomination’s for “America’s Best Campus Artist” (Campus Activities Magazine) by the age of 24.
As his act evolved, so did the demand for his work. Brian developed a reputation for mixing world class entertainment with an engaging personality and the ability to adapt to any group. He began accepting invitations to entertain at exclusive private events throughout New England, such as bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, company holiday parties, and corporate events.
Military Entertainment and More
In April of 2016, Brian partnered with Navy Entertainment to bring magic to the American troops and their families stationed overseas on military bases. He has since completed 3 tours for the troops in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Brian calls these tours the most rewarding work of his career. Read about his most recent tour across Asia here.
Brian’s work has been featured in the Hartford Courant, The Huffington Post, MAGIC Magazine, Genii Magazine, and The Society of American Magicians Magazine. He was also showcased in the 2016 documentary film The Get Together about the legendary Abbott’s Get Together magic convention held annually for the past 80 years in Colon, MI.
Brian’s experience as a magician make him a dynamic and engaging corporate keynote speaker and youth motivational speaker. His TEDx talk “How to Magically Connect with Anyone” has been seen and shared by 3 million people worldwide.
Outside of magic Brian is a passionate musician. He has achieved critical acclaim as a singer, guitarist, and songwriter as half of the group Escher’s Enigma, a unique studio project with his father Russ Miller.
Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife Lindsey.
I recently had the amazing Allie Apels of @joysofkinderon my podcast to discuss the transformative power of her brainchild “Kindness Ninjas” Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program in her kindergarten class (#kindnessninjas).
Essentially, a few years ago, when Allie was faced with one of the most challenging groups of children she had ever taught, she and her teaching partner (yes, there were two teachers allocated to one class due to the high level of needs), came up with a brilliant way to encourage the development of a kind and supportive classroom. They introduced a kindness ambassador: the kindness ninja. Every day, leading up to Christmas break, Allie and her class would be greeted by the kindness ninja who would leave them notes and various random acts of kindness missions.
She explained that the experience was completely transformative. The class came together as a team and that year wound up becoming one of Allie’s favourite years as a teacher.
All About Our 15-Day Kindness Ninja Video Challenge Synergy
Not long after our conversation went live, we got the best idea ever and now…it’s about to go live!
This October, Allie and I are collaborating to bring your classroom an exciting synergy between the 21-Day-Kindness-Challenge and the Kindness Ninjas.
Every day, staring October 7th, 2019, we will be posting on our Instagram accounts 15 school-days worth of kindness ninja challenges to complete with your class. Our little kindness ninja will speak to your children through video using the chatterpix app.
We debated sharing the challenges ahead of time (we love a surprise), and decided to do so in order to give you amazing educators a head-start in your planning. Also, we will be posting the videos eventually to YouTube so that you can follow along on your own timeline at a later time!
What you will need: Gently loved books (one from the class or one from each student), wrapping paper (make, use newsprint, or purchase), notes explaining who it’s for and what it’s for. Check out Mrs. Mac’s example.
Day nine: Write or trace notes of appreciation for the staff members of your school. Place the notes in their mailboxes or on their vehicle windshields.
Day ten: Create a kindness cart to deliver cold beverages and snacks to teachers in your school (or set up the staff room for a special surprise treat day before lunch or recess):
What you’ll need: beverages (large containers of iced tea/lemonade/tea/sparkling water and coffee) or individual cans. Also, cookies/crackers and cheese/and homemade treats are always appreciated.
Students can make small posters or cards expressing their gratitude for those who serve the school.
Day fourteen: Write special letters to people in your family thanking them for all that they do for you. Use fancy paper and envelopes to make it extra special.
Day fifteen: Make a kindness big-book to gift to another class, to inspire them to be kind within your school. Each person can make a page to tell one way to be a kindness ninja. You could even send it to another school to spread the ripples of kindness throughout your community.
If you are an educator, school administrator, parent, camp counsellor, or employer, chances are you’ve had experience with challenging behaviours.
So often, we focus on crisis-management and behaviour-modification to attempt to make challenging behaviours “go away,” but as we know, sticker charts and reward systems do little to encourage intrinsic motivation and, furthermore, do not address the underlying problems that cause the problematic behaviours.
I sat down with Dr. Ross Greene this summer to discuss his Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model in order to learn how we can solve some of the most challenging school behaviours.
Here are some things we discuss:
The Four Main Philosophies that guide Collaborative Proactive Solutions:
Kids do well if they can.
Your explanation guides your intervention.
Be responsible to the hand you’ve been dealt.
Challenging behaviours occur when certain demands and expectations exceed a kid’s ability to respond adaptively to their environment. It’s a method of communication.
The Three Main “Umbrella” Lagging Skills
Inclusion through the lens of teaching lagging skills and taking an empathic approach to adapting to problems integrating 100% of the time within the classroom for 100% of tasks
The Most Important Skill for an educator to lead with
A Step-by-Step Framework to Implement CPS
Empathy Step: Information gathering from the student- “What is hard for you about___? How does that make it hard for you to ____?”
Define Adult Concerns: Explain and articulate adult expectations
Invitation: Collaboration on a solution (having the student come up with some possible solutions to the problem and coming to a realistic, mutually satisfactory solution. “I wonder if there is something we can do about ____ do that you can ____? Do you have any ideas?”
A Real World Example of CPS in Action: Dr. Greene takes us through a step-by-step example of the process
Dr. Ross Greene answers 2 audience questions related to:
Dr. Ross W. Greene is the author of Raising Human Beings, Lost and Found, Lost at School, and The Explosive Child. Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over twenty years, and is now founding director of the nonprofit organization Lives in the Balance (LivesintheBalance.org), through which he disseminates the model of care—now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions—described in his books. Dr. Greene’s research has been funded by the US Department of Education, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Stanley Medical Research Institute, and the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. He speaks widely throughout the world.
“We cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them.” Albert Einstein
Lives in the Balance is the non-profit organization founded by child psychologist Dr. Ross Greene, originator of the empirically supported Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach and New York Times bestselling author of the influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost & Found, and Raising Human Beings.
Their vision is to foster collaboration and empathy, transform lives, and inspire change for all children (especially the most vulnerable), to heighten awareness of the detrimental and counterproductive effects of punitive interventions, and to address the systemic issues that impede our progress.
The mission of Lives in the Balance is to provide vital, accessible resources and programs to caregivers of behaviorally challenging kids; to bring the plight of these kids into the public consciousness; to address the systemic issues that cause many of these kids to slip through the cracks; and to promote parenting and disciplinary practices that foster the better side of human nature in all children. Their efforts are organized around the following initiatives:
Open Access: Through their Outreach initiatives — which include their website, their radio programs and Facebook groups, and their annual Summit — we ensure that parents, educators, mental health clinicians, and staff in restrictive therapeutic facilities have easy access to vast resources on the CPS model at little or no cost.
Lead the Change: Through their Advocacy efforts, they heighten awareness of the obsolete, counterproductive ways in which many behaviorally challenging kids are still treated; take action whenever we learn of schools and facilities that are treating kids — behaviorally challenging or not — in ways that are punitive, adversarial, and counterproductive; and provide consultation and training on non-punitive, non-adversarial, collaborative, proactive alternatives.
Fix The System: Through their proof-of-concept project — Invest in Maine’s At-Risk Kids (i-MARK) — we’re showing how a public-private partnership can eliminate many of the systemic issues that make it hard for at-risk kids and their families to access and receive the help they need. Once we’ve shown what can be done in one state, we’ll export the model to other states, provinces, and countries.
Lives in the Balance is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes. Our programs are funded by Dr. Greene and other philanthropic individuals and organizations. If you’re interested in supporting their vision and mission, please contact them by phone or by using the contact form on their website.
I was recently listening to Oprah Winfrey’s Supersoul Conversations Podcast (which is amazing, BTW) and stumbled upon a conversation with Byron Katie about a really fascinating way that we can elongate the space between stimulus and response (a Viktor Frankel reference about the way that we can have more ownership and agency over the way we react to the challenges that life hands us).
She has a great 4-question framework that has done wonders in terms of re-thinking the worst-case scenario narratives that often start ramping up when things go sideways. I wanted to share them with YOU!
Imagine you’ve made plans with someone and you just can’t seem to get ahold of them. Perhaps, you start thinking that they are trying to avoid you or, worse, you think that something terrible has happened to them. Whatever your thought cycle, here’s a framework that can help you to dig yourself out:
Is it true? Can I absolutely know that this is TRUTH? This is likely a story I am telling myself about what might have happened.
How can I check that this is true? I could call. I could think back to past behaviours to see what might be in line with who this person usually is.
How do I react when I believe this to be true? Unkind? Vengeful? Tearful? Guilty? Mind attack? Certainty-seeking? Imagining the worst?
Who would you be without that thought? Peaceful. Trusting. Worthy. Enough. Faith-filled.
Here is a list of the 7 most important questions that enable you to evaluate whether your work is a good fit for you. These questions can help you to determine your overall job satisfaction and fulfilment. These can also help a teacher to think empathetically through the eyes of her students, when we swap the word “school” for “work” :
Do I know what’s expected of me at work?
Do I have the materials and the equipments I need to do my work right?
Do I have the opportunity to do that I do best every day?
In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
What matters to me most about work and is that aligned with my duties?
When you’ve answered these questions, it’s important to evaluate how much you have within your sphere of control to change through your actions or by simply changing your mindset. Sometimes, questions like these can also be clarifying when it comes to checking whether or not your current employment is aligned with the direction you want your life to take.
Dan Buchner is an award winning designer, entrepreneur, educator, and leadership facilitator and the ceo of Praktikel.
He designed and delivered custom Innovation Leadership programs for leading organizations such as Baxter Healthcare, Eaton Corporation, McDonalds, General Motors and Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Dan is a sought-after international keynote speaker and facilitator on innovation practices and organizational strategies. Thousands of people around the world have had their thinking shifted and been inspired to action by his practical perspective on innovation, leadership and organizational change.
I wanted to have Dan Buchner onto KindSight 101 to talk about the ways that innovation, leadership and learning interconnect within this global world and the ways that edcuators can foster environments that encourage creative thinking vs. compliance.
Everything is figureoutable.
In this episode, you’ll learn the step-by-step formula for figuring anything out. You’ll learn the one thing that every student needs for success in the real world and how you can be the one to help them acquire it.
– You’ll learn how to balance the need for organization and the drive for creativity.
– You’ll learn how balancing the need for creativity is like balancing your investment portfolio.
– You’ll learn the most important skill and trait a teacher needs to have to be effective.